Applying Survival Analysis to The Hunger Games

Posted by Kelley MacEwen on 6/19/13 10:26 AM

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The latest Econometrics Seminar Program featured an application of Survival Analysis to the popular novel The Hunger Games. Survival Analysis is a statistical method that seeks to answer questions such as how long a population can survive past a certain time or event and what variables can explain this duration. Data often comes in the form of time until event of interest. The response is referred to as failure time, survival time, or even time. These make up the survival function, which is the probability that the time of event is later than some specific time t.

The presentation applied the principles of survival analysis to the fictional 74th Hunger Games, where 24 children from ages of 12-18 are chosen to fight to the death. Utilizing data from the book, we were able to create the Cox Proportional Hazard equation, which showed that the rating of each participant and their status (volunteer or career) are strongest predictor of their survival. Also covered in the seminar was whether the random selection of volunteers for the Games is indeed random. Applying a Chi-Squared test, the results indicate that the difference between the age distribution in the 74th Hunger Games is not different at 0.05 alpha-level from expected age distribution.

This presentation was created by Mallory Wang using R statistical software. You can view her code here.

Note: This post was inspired by and uses data from Brett Keller's original post on the topic. View his discussion for more information.

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Topics: data analytics, R

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